Seek, the Australian jobs advertiser, announced its annual profit for the 12 months through June, which fell short of expectations due to moderated ad volumes amid slowing economic activity. Despite this, Seek has decided to raise its dividend.
The net profit from continuing operations for the period was reported at AUD 202.7 million, a 16% decrease compared to the previous year. After adjusting for one-off items and the growth fund that recently separated from the main business, Seek’s adjusted net profit was AUD 255.0 million, slightly below its guidance of AUD 263 million.
The board has declared a final dividend of AUD 0.23 per share, an increase from AUD 0.21 in the previous year.
Although revenue saw a 10% increase to AUD 1.225 billion on a continuing-operations basis, it fell slightly short of the downgraded guidance of AUD 1.245 billion. Seek had revised its full-year revenue guidance in April due to moderated job ad volumes in a worsening macro environment.
Statutory net profit reached AUD 1.02 billion, a significant surge from AUD 168.8 million in the previous year, mainly due to a one-off gain of AUD 840 million from the deconsolidation of the growth fund. The fund’s value also rose by 41% to AUD 2.32 billion over fiscal 2023.
Looking ahead, Seek expects its revenue for fiscal 2024 to range between AUD 1.18 billion and AUD 1.26 billion. The company anticipates an adjusted net profit of AUD 220 million to AUD 260 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of AUD 520 million to AUD 560 million.
For fiscal 2023, Seek posted an EBITDA of AUD 255.0 million, a 0.7% decrease compared to the previous year.
Chief Executive Ian Narev stated that ad volumes in Australia and New Zealand are likely to decline due to rising unemployment, while Asian paid ad volumes are expected to remain similar to those in fiscal 2023. He acknowledged the challenges of forecasting economic activity levels accurately and noted that Seek’s fiscal 2024 guidance is based on the best current estimates.